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Gastroenterology. 2011 May;140(6):1748-55. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2011.01.056.

Hypoxia and metabolic factors that influence inflammatory bowel disease pathogenesis.

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  • 1Mucosal Inflammation Program, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, Colorado, USA.


The gastrointestinal epithelium is anatomically positioned to provide a selective barrier between the anaerobic lumen and lamina propria, which has a high rate of metabolism. Supported by a complex vasculature, this important barrier is affected by reduced blood flow and resultant tissue hypoxia, particularly during the severe metabolic shifts associated with active inflammation in individuals with inflammatory bowel disease. Activation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) under these conditions promotes resolution of inflammation in mouse models of disease. Protective influences of HIF are attributed, in part, to the complex regulation of barrier protection with the intestinal mucosa. Reagents that activate HIF, via inhibition of the prolyl hydroxylase enzymes, might be developed to induce hypoxia-mediated resolution in patients with intestinal mucosal inflammatory disease.

Copyright © 2011 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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